Intelligent Design

Why Keith Blanchard really doesn’t understand evolution

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A few days ago, The Week published a pro-evolution article with the paradoxical title, “Why you should stop believing in evolution” by Keith Blanchard, a former editor-in-chief of Maxim magazine who is now the chief digital officer of the World Science Festival. Evolution, argued Blanchard, isn’t something we believe in, but something we simply grasp: “You either understand it or you don’t.” Blanchard then proceeded to demonstrate that he doesn’t understand the very theory he advocates: his article is riddled with scientific errors and non sequiturs.

I’m not the first person to criticize Blanchard’s article on scientific grounds. That honor belongs to Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education, whose article, Five Quibbles for Blanchard was published on the NCSE Website on August 7, and re-posted on the Richard Dawkins Foundation Website on the same day. But only one of the errors identified by Branch could properly be described as a scientific error; the rest are either philosophical, historical or related to Blanchard’s background beliefs: curiously for an evolutionist, he appears to retain a vestige of belief in the Great Chain of Being, as evidenced by his strange assertion that humans are becoming “less bestial” over time, coupled with his frank acknowledgement that he would rather not be related to monkeys – a startling remark for a Darwinist to make, and one that Branch indignantly declared “could almost make me go ape!”

The scientific error identified by Glenn Branch related to Keith Blanchard’s limited understanding of the mechanisms of evolution:

Blanchard seems to equate evolution, in the sense of universal common ancestry — “Go back far enough, and you’ll find an ancestor common to you and to every creature on Earth” — with natural selection. Or, what’s about as problematic, he seems to identify natural selection as the one and only mechanism of evolution... Granted, for the purposes of Blanchard’s piece, there was no particular reason to invoke any of the other primary mechanisms of evolution (genetic drift, gene flow, mutation). But since his concern was primarily with universal common ancestry, it wouldn’t have been particularly difficult for him to write in such a way as to avoid reinforcing these misconceptions.

Blanchard’s “selectionist” model of evolution

Personally, I think Branch is being too charitable to Blanchard here. Blanchard’s understanding of evolution is undeniably selectionist, as evidenced by the following passage in his article:

When … new traits are advantageous (longer legs in gazelles), organisms survive and replicate at a higher rate than average, and when disadvantageous (brittle skulls in woodpeckers), they survive and replicate at a lower rate.

That’s a little oversimplified, but the general idea. As advantageous traits become the norm within a population and disadvantageous traits are weeded out, each type of creature gradually morphs to better fit its environment.

Branch might be interested to know that evolutionary biologist P.Z. Myers recently criticized South Carolina’s state science standards for inaccurately asserting that “[b]iological evolution occurs primarily when natural selection acts on the genetic variation in a population and changes the distribution of traits in that population over multiple generations.” In a follow-up post, Myers went on to explain that this statement reflects an out-dated selectionist model of evolution, in which all mutations are regarded as either advantageous or deleterious. The modern view of evolution, explained Myers, is strikingly different from that of Darwin:

First thing you have to know: the revolution is over. Neutral and nearly neutral theory won. The neutral theory states that most of the variation found in evolutionary lineages is a product of random genetic drift. Nearly neutral theory is an expansion of that idea that basically says that even slightly advantageous or deleterious mutations will escape selection — they’ll be overwhelmed by effects dependent on population size. This does not in any way imply that selection is unimportant, but only that most molecular differences will not be a product of adaptive, selective changes.

In other words, most mutations have no effect on fitness. And mutations that have only a slight positive or negative effect on fitness are invisible to natural selection. Blanchard’s model of evolution is over forty years out-of-date.

Blanchard’s faulty understanding of genes

But this error pales into insignificance, when compared to Blanchard’s bald (and inaccurate) assertion about the role of genes:

Genes, stored in every cell, are the body’s blueprints; they code for traits like eye color, disease susceptibility, and a bazillion other things that make you you.

This crude understanding of genes was roundly debunked in a recent article in the Huffington Post by Professor Agustin Fuentes, titled, DNA Is Not a Blueprint: How Genes Really Work (June 8, 2012):

Genes play an important role in our development and functioning, not as directors but as parts of a complex system. “Blueprints” is a poor way to describe genes. It is misleading to talk about genes as doing things by themselves. There are very few instances of direct gene-to-trait scenarios, even in well known “genetic” disorders. Traits emerge from the interactions of genes and a range of developmental and environmental influences, and similar DNA sequences often produce slightly different outcomes. Our DNA influences who we are, but not in a linear or easily described manner. (See here for more.)…

Genes contain information, but the actual relationship between genes and our bodies and behavior is complicated…

There is little evidence to support any one-to-one relationship between genes and behavior.

Blanchard’s gradualism

There’s more. Blanchard asserts that new species are the result of an accumulation of gradual changes over the course of time:

The very notion of “species” is even a little misleading — a discrete-sounding artifice created for the convenience of people who live about a hundred years. If you had eyes to see the big picture, and could watch life change on a geologic time frame, you’d see constant gradual change, as generations adapt to circumstance…

Pile on enough eons, and tiny pidgin (sic) horses gradually become rideable by gradually less hairy apes.

Blanchard should know that this gradualistic view of evolution has been publicly rejected by leading biologists, including evolutionary biologist Eugene Koonin, who states in his best-selling work, The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution (FT Press, Upper Saddle River, NJ: 2011):

Gradualism is not the principal regime of evolution. (p. 398)

Evolutionary biologist P. Z. Myers concurs with this view: he cited this very quote from Koonin’s book in a recent post. In a 2007 review of the late Stephen Jay Gould’s posthumously published magnum opus, Punctuated Equilibrium, Myers wrote:

Gould and Eldredge proposed punctuated equilibrium as a paleontologist’s view of the history of life: they were describing the paleontological data available at the time pointing out that there was no geological evidence to support Charles Darwin’s belief that species evolved gradually. Time has shown them to be correct, and their observations are now accepted by most biologists as a accurate account of evolutionary history.

Artificial selection as evidence for macroevolution

Blanchard compounds his errors by arguing that artificial selection proves that macroevolution (evolution at or beyond the species level) can occur: although evolution normally proceeds at a glacial pace, humans can speed it up artificially, leading to “evolution turbocharged by human intervention” which effectively creates new species. The implication is clear: if human breeding over a relatively short scale of several thousands of years can accomplish all this, how much more so can natural selection, operating over the course of millions of years?

We invented the dog, starting with wolves and quickening the natural but poky process of evolution by specifically selecting breeding pairs with desirable traits, gradually accentuating particular traits in successive populations. Poodles, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Hollywood red-carpet purse dogs — all this fabulous kinetic art was created, and continues to be created, by humans manually hijacking the mechanism of evolution.

There’s a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s a photo of the skeleton of a Great Dane, next to a Chihuahua:

Apart from size, there’s not much of a difference in the skeletons, is there?

Or as geneticist Jeff Tomkins (who is now a creationist) trenchantly puts it in an online article titled, Artificial Selection and Dog Breeding is Not Evolution (April 25, 2013):

You can push dog genetic variability in whatever direction you want, and you will only get dogs. It’s not a situation where small changes are adding up over long periods of time to vertically transform and produce something completely different than a dog. Rather, dog breeding (artificial selection) is a matter of exploiting and manipulating inherent variability within the dog gene pool, called horizontal genetic variation. Dog breeding doesn’t vindicate evolution on a grand scale or provide proof for natural selection.

“What about human beings and great apes such as the chimpanzee and gorilla?” you might ask. Here’s another picture, showing a human skeleton and a gorilla skeleton. Not so similar, are they?

Chimpanzees and gorillas are agreed by scientists to be man’s closest living relatives. The anatomical differences between humans and chimpanzees, which are quite extensive, are conveniently summarized in a handout prepared by Anthropology Professor Claud A. Ramblett the University of Texas, entitled, Primate Anatomy. Anyone who thinks that a series of random stepwise mutations, culled by the non-random but unguided process of natural selection, can account for the anatomical differences between humans and chimpanzees, should read this article very carefully. What it reveals is that an entire ensuite of changes, relating to the skull, teeth, vertebrae, thorax, shoulder, arms, hands, pelvis, legs and feet, not to mention the rate of skeletal maturation and method of locomotion, would have been required, in order to transform the common ancestor of humans and chimps into creatures like ourselves. Given the sheer diversity of changes that would have been required, it is surely reasonable to ask whether an unguided process, such as Darwinian macroevolution, could have accomplished this feat over a period of a few million years.

Blanchard’s bungled examples of human vestigial traits

Blanchard concludes his argument with an appeal to human vestigial traits as evidence for evolution:

Why do you have sharp canine teeth? An appendix? Hair under your arms? If your body was designed for its current usage, there’s a lot of inefficiency there. If it seems, rather, to be in the process of becoming less … bestial, well, that’s because it is.

Blanchard’s artless statement that humans are becoming less bestial over time has been critiqued on scientific grounds by Glenn Branch, a vocal defender of human evolution, who comments:

Humans are still beasts … and no amount of evolution is going to change that.

If one accepts Branch’s naturalistic assumptions, then his logic is impeccable.

But the alleged vestiges cited by Blanchard do not pass muster. To begin with, the function of canine teeth, according to leading dentists, is “holding, grasping, and tearing food.” Because canine teeth are especially durable, they are referred to by dentists as “the cornerstone of the mouth.” What’s more, the shape and size of canine teeth have changed little since the time of Australopithecus africanus, three million years ago, as these images show. (It is true that Neanderthal man had larger canines than modern man, but his incisors were larger as well, and the large size is apparently due to the very heavy wear on teeth in prehistoric times.)

The human appendix was shown several years ago to play a vital function in the human body. Loren G. Martin, professor of physiology at Oklahoma State University, has listed various likely functions for the appendix on Scientific American‘s website (October 21, 1999), including:

  • being “involved primarily in immune functions”;
  • “function[ing] as a lymphoid organ, assisting with the maturation of B lymphocytes (one variety of white blood cell) and in the production of the class of antibodies known as immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies”;
  • helping with “the production of molecules that help to direct the movement of lymphocytes to various other locations in the body”;
  • “suppress[ing] potentially destructive humoral (blood- and lymph-borne) antibody responses while promoting local immunity”;
  • and finally, it is “an important ‘back-up’ that can be used in a variety of reconstructive surgical techniques.”

The idea that the appendix functions as a storehouse for beneficial microbes that help fight off infections in the gut is becoming more widely accepted, even among evolutionary biologists, as science reporter Susan Perry acknowledges in an article for MinnPost titled, The appendix has a healthful purpose, evolutionary evidence suggests (February 18, 2013). She points out that according to a recent study, people without an appendix were four times more likely to experience a recurrence of an infection caused by the bacterium C. difficile than people who still had their appendix. C. difficile kills an estimated 14,000 Americans each year. In her article, Perry explains how the myth that the appendix had no function came to be accepted in the first place, thanks largely to the speculations of Charles Darwin:

Charles Darwin helped popularize the idea that the appendix was a vestigial structure. During his lifetime, only humans and other great apes were known to have an appendix. This led Darwin to hypothesize that the appendix was an evolutionary artifact — a remnant of the days when our ancient ancestors needed a larger cecum (the pouch-like beginning of the large intestine) to store bacteria to break down plant tissues. Darwin believed that when those ancestors switched to a more easily digestible fruit-based diet, the cecum shrank — and the appendix became unnecessary.

Perry goes on to cite a recent article by Colin Barras in Science Now (February 12, 2013), which states that no less than 50 species of mammals are now considered by scientists to have an appendix, and that for most of these species, there was no sign of a dietary shift triggering the evolution of the appendix. Nevertheless, Barras maintained that since the ape appendix appeared at around the time when our ancestors switched diets, it “may have” originally evolved for that reason. In logic, this kind of reasoning is known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”). And even if the origin of the ape appendix could be linked to dietary changes, the fact that it continues to play a vital role in the human body means that its value as a piece of evidence for human evolution is vastly diminished.

The last item cited as evidence for human evolution by Blanchard is “hair under your arms.” Reading about this one made me smile: even the zealously pro-evolution Wikipedia admits: “The evolutionary significance of human underarm hair is still debated.” There are at least three hypotheses which attempt to account for why we have hair under our armpits: it may (i) aid the wicking of sweat away from the skin, (ii) reduce friction between the thorax and upper arm, or (iii) facilitate the release of sex pheromones. A recent article by Cristen Conger on HowStuffWorks explains underarm hair in terms of sexual selection: “The hair in those areas traps and amplifies those odors, like loudspeakers that amplify your body’s chemical siren song of attraction.” Well, maybe – but what does that prove about our ancestry? The simplistic notion, popularized by Blanchard, that underarm hair is a relic of our simian past has not the slightest evidence to support it.

Conclusion

I could go on, but I’d like to conclude this article with a final observation: Keith Blanchard doesn’t have a science degree. His LinkedIn profile lists him as having a two year tech degree in Electronic Technology, which he obtained in 1975. Let us freely grant that the man’s skill set looks quite impressive. Nevertheless, the fact remains that a man without a science degree has no place writing an article on evolution in a popular online magazine like The Week. It’s simply presumptuous.

For the record, I happen to believe in the common descent of humans and apes, based in large part on the fact that the gaps in the hominin fossil record have been shrinking steadily over the last few decades – including the gap that was alleged to exist between Australopithecus and Homo ergaster/erectus. But after having read assiduously about human evolution for more than 40 years, I can categorically state that anyone who thinks we’ve got it all sewn up is just nuts. We know very little of the genetic changes that triggered the explosive growth and structural reorganization of the human brain over the past few million years, and we are in no position at the present time to estimate the statistical likelihood of these changes. (Remember: we’re talking about the most complicated machine in the universe, folks. Computers don’t hold a candle to it, and the brains of other animals appear to be qualitatively different in terms of their mental capacities.) Consequently, we have no right to assume that the evolution of the human brain and body, if it occurred, was an unguided process, as modern-day evolutionary biologists overwhelmingly do, or that it occurred without the need for any special intervention, as Blanchard appears to believe. (The only possible role he allows for God at the end of his article is setting “the rules of evolution.”)

It is a great pity that Keith Blanchard believes that macroevolution is as obvious as “gravity, or the roundness of Earth.” As readers of this blog will be aware, one of the world’s top chemists, Professor James Tour, thinks there’s no scientist alive today who understands macroevolution. Perhaps Blanchard, in his arrogance, thinks that Professor Tour is also guilty of covering his eyes and ears, like everyone who questions macroevolution. What I would suggest that Blanchard do instead is try to find out why intelligent people come to doubt evolution.

34 Replies to “Why Keith Blanchard really doesn’t understand evolution

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Torley, enjoyed your article, well written and researched as usual, but, of course, I still disagree with you on this:

    For the record, I happen to believe in the common descent of humans and apes, based in large part on the fact that the gaps in the hominin fossil record have been shrinking steadily over the last few decades –

    ,,,,This is, mainly, because of the great fanfare with which supposed new human ancestor fossil findings are released, (and the back page fine print retractions once the fossils are exposed as not ancestral to humans), I simply don’t trust Darwinists with this area of evidence. They simply have ruined any credibility they had with me in this area.

    A few notes to that effect:

    Hominid Hype and the Election Cycle – Casey Luskin – September 2011
    Excerpt: Ignoring fraudulent fossils like Piltdown man, the last 50 years have seen a slew of so-called human ancestors which initially produced hype, and were later disproven.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50801.html

    Ardi: The Human Ancestor Who Wasn’t? – May 2010
    Excerpt: “[White] showed no evidence that Ardi is on the human lineage,” Sarmiento says. “Those characters that he posited as relating exclusively to humans also exist in apes and ape fossils that we consider not to be in the human lineage.”
    http://www.time.com/time/healt.....15,00.html

    Icon Of Evolution – Ape To Man – The Ultimate Deception – Jonathan Wells – video
    http://vimeo.com/19080087

    Missing link fossil a “hotchpotch,” “may never have existed” – April 2014
    Excerpt: The fossils of Australopithecus sediba, which promised to rewrite the story of human evolution, may actually be the remains of two species jumbled together. (Piltdown anyone?)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-existed/

    Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new ‘hobbit’ human – Aug 04, 2014
    Excerpt: In October 2004, excavation of fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores in Indonesia yielded what was called “the most important find in human evolution for 100 years.” Its discoverers dubbed the find Homo floresiensis, a name suggesting a previously unknown species of human.
    Now detailed reanalysis by an international team of researchers including Robert B. Eckhardt, professor of developmental genetics and evolution at Penn State, Maciej Henneberg, professor of anatomy and pathology at the University of Adelaide, and Kenneth Hsü, a Chinese geologist and paleoclimatologist, suggests that the single specimen on which the new designation depends, known as LB1, does not represent a new species. Instead, it is the skeleton of a developmentally abnormal human and, according to the researchers, contains important features most consistent with a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-08-f.....obbit.html

    The Hobbit ‘hoax’ is very similar in nature to the many other infamous hoaxes for human evolution that Darwinists have perpetuated for years in the past:

    EVOLUTION FORGERIES (For Human Evolution) – excerpts –
    Piltdown Man: An Orang-utan Jaw and a Human Skull!
    Nebraska Man: A Single Pig Tooth!
    Ota Benga: The African Native Put Into a Cage!
    http://www.evolutiondeceit.com/chapter9.php

    etc… etc.. etc..

    Certainly not a track record to inspire confidence is it?

    Phillip Johnson gives the reason why, (human nature), Darwinists continually push fraudulent fossils:

    “What I saw about the fossil record again,, was that Gould and Eldridge were experts in the area where the animal fossil record is most complete. That is marine invertebrates.,, And the reason for this is that when,, a bird, or a human, or an ape, or a wolf, or whatever, dies,, normally it does not get fossilized. It decays in the open, or is eaten by scavengers. Things get fossilized when they get covered over quickly with sediments so that they are protected from this natural destructive process. So if you want to be a fossil, the way to go about it is to live in the shallow seas, where you get covered over by sediments when you die,,. Most of the animal fossils are of that kind and it is in that area where the fossil record is most complete. That there is a consistent pattern.,, I mean there is evolution in the sense of variation, just like the peppered moth example. Things do vary, but they vary within the type. The new types appear suddenly, fully formed, without an evolutionary history and then they stay fundamentally stable with (cyclical) variation after their sudden appearance, and stasis (according) to the empirical observations made by Gould and Eldridge. Well now you see, I was aware of a number of examples of where evolutionary intermediates were cited. This was brought up as soon as people began to make the connection and question the (Darwinian) profession about their theory in light of the controversy. But the examples of claimed evolutionary transitionals, oddly enough, come from the area of the fossil record where fossilization is rarest. Where it is least likely to happen.,,,
    One of things that amused me is that there are so many fossil candidates for human ancestorship, and so very few fossils that are candidates for the great apes.,, There should be just as many. But why not? Any economist can give you the answer to that. Human ancestors have a great American value and so they are produced at a much greater rate.,,
    These also were grounds to be suspicious of what was going on,,,
    ,,,if the problem is the greatest where the fossil record is most complete and if the confirming examples are found where fossils are rarest, that doesn’t sound like it could be the explanation.”
    – Phillip Johnson – April 2012 – audio/video 15:05 minute mark to 19:15 minute mark
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....age#t=903s

    Of related note, Bill Nye was busted using a fraudulent slide in his debate with Ken Ham

    Contemplating Bill Nye’s 51 skulls slide – February 10, 2014 – with video
    Excerpt: David A. DeWitt, Biology & Chemistry chair at Liberty, knows a thing or two about skulls, and writes to say,
    “This afternoon and evening I tracked down 46 of the 51 skulls that were on the slide Nye showed in the Ken Ham debate (at about 1:05 on the Youtube video).
    This was a challenge because some of them are not very well analyzed, partial skulls, etc. While some of them are well known, others are rarely discussed. I believe only a well-trained anthropologist would have been able to address that slide in the very brief time that it was visible. It was especially confusing because the skulls are in different orientations (including one that is viewed from the bottom and one that is just a jaw). They were not shown with the same scale so the relative sizes are wrong, and they are not grouped or lined up in any clear order. They are mixed up by type of skull and by date, and the only label is the name of the individual skull. I suspect that this was deliberate.,,,”
    “I can only conclude that the sole purpose of showing such a slide was to confuse and obfuscate, not educate.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....lls-slide/

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, there is credible reason to doubt the gradual appearance of humans:

    “A number of hominid crania are known from sites in eastern and southern Africa in the 400- to 200-thousand-year range, but none of them looks like a close antecedent of the anatomically distinctive Homo sapiens…Even allowing for the poor record we have of our close extinct kin, Homo sapiens appears as distinctive and unprecedented…there is certainly no evidence to support the notion that we gradually became who we inherently are over an extended period, in either the physical or the intellectual sense.”
    Dr. Ian Tattersall: – paleoanthropologist – emeritus curator of the American Museum of Natural History – (Masters of the Planet, 2012)

    Skull “Rewrites” Story of Human Evolution — Again – Casey Luskin – October 22, 2013
    Excerpt: “There is a big gap in the fossil record,” Zollikofer told NBC News. “I would put a question mark there. Of course it would be nice to say this was the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and us, but we simply don’t know.” –
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....78221.html

    No Known Hominin Is Common Ancestor of Neanderthals and Modern Humans, Study Suggests – Oct. 21, 2013
    Excerpt: The article, “No known hominin species matches the expected dental morphology of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans,” relies on fossils of approximately 1,200 molars and premolars from 13 species or types of hominins — humans and human relatives and ancestors. Fossils from the well-known Atapuerca sites have a crucial role in this research, accounting for more than 15 percent of the complete studied fossil collection.,,,
    They conclude with high statistical confidence that none of the hominins usually proposed as a common ancestor, such as Homo heidelbergensis, H. erectus and H. antecessor, is a satisfactory match.
    “None of the species that have been previously suggested as the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans has a dental morphology that is fully compatible with the expected morphology of this ancestor,” Gómez-Robles said.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....153202.htm

    And I certainly don’t think the gap has been shrinking, as you hold Dr. Torley. In fact, it has recently been growing larger:

    Skull of Homo erectus throws story of human evolution into disarray – OCT. 17, 2013
    Excerpt: Over decades excavating sites in Africa, researchers have named half a dozen different species of early human ancestor, but most, if not all, are now on shaky ground.,,,
    If the scientists are right, it would trim the base of the human evolutionary tree and spell the end for names such as H rudolfensis, H gautengensis, H ergaster and possibly H habilis.
    http://www.theguardian.com/sci.....-evolution

    Moreover, Darwinists themselves are in complete disarray as to which ‘family tree’ we should accept:

    The Truth About Human Origins:
    Excerpt: “It is practically impossible to determine which “family tree” (for human evolution) one should accept. Richard Leakey (of the famed fossil hunting family from Africa) has proposed one. His late mother, Mary Leakey, proposed another. Donald Johanson, former president of the Institute of Human Origins in Berkeley, California, has proposed yet another. And as late as 2001, Meave Leakey (Richard’s wife) has proposed still another.,,”
    http://books.google.com/books?.....8;lpg=PT28

    What Can We Responsibly Believe About Human Evolution? – Denyse O’Leary – August 4, 2014
    Excerpt: A 2012 article in Scientific American acknowledged,,, “The origin of our genus, Homo, is one of the biggest mysteries facing scholars of human evolution.” Intriguing finds lead to a barrage of conflicting narratives, partial and uncertain, much like ancient mythologies.,,,
    Basic outlines of our origins are admitted to be uncertain and conflicting: In PNAS, paleobiologist Bernard Wood puts it like this:
    “The origin of our own genus remains frustratingly unclear. Although many of my colleagues are agreed regarding the “what” with respect to Homo, there is no consensus as to the “how” and “when” questions.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....88531.html

    But perhaps the strongest reason why I don’t trust Darwinists, in regards to how they handle any purported evidence for human evolution, is the blatant misrepresentation, i.e. artistic license, that Darwinists shamelessly employ to mislead people with their inaccurate ape to man drawings

    “We have all seen the canonical parade of apes, each one becoming more human. We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this line-up is tosh (i.e. nonsense). Yet we cling to it. Ideas of what human evolution ought to have been like still colour our debates.”
    Henry Gee, editor of Nature (478, 6 October 2011, page 34, doi:10.1038/478034a),

    “National Geographic magazine commissioned four artists to reconstruct a female figure from casts of seven fossil bones thought to be from the same species as skull 1470. One artist drew a creature whose forehead is missing and whose jaws look vaguely like those of a beaked dinosaur. Another artist drew a rather good-looking modern African-American woman with unusually long arms. A third drew a somewhat scrawny female with arms like a gorilla and a face like a Hollywood werewolf. And a fourth drew a figure covered with body hair and climbing a tree, with beady eyes that glare out from under a heavy, gorilla-like brow.”
    “Behind the Scenes,” National Geographic 197 (March, 2000): 140
    picture – these artists “independently” produced the 4 very “different” ancestors you see here
    http://www.omniology.com/JackalopianArtists.html
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-disorder/

    “alleged restoration of ancient types of man have very little, if any, scientific value and are likely only to mislead the public”
    Earnest A. Hooton – physical anthropologist – Harvard University

    One can see that ‘artistic license’ for human evolution being played out on the following site.

    10 Transitional Ancestors of Human Evolution by Tyler G., March 18, 2013
    http://listverse.com/2013/03/1.....evolution/

    Please note, on the preceding site, how the sclera (white of the eye), a uniquely human characteristic, was brought in very early on, in the artists’ reconstructions, to make the fossils appear much more human than they actually were, even though the artists making the reconstructions have no clue whatsoever as to what the colors of the eyes, of these supposed transitional fossils, actually were.

    Evolution of human eye as a device for communication – Hiromi Kobayashi – Kyoto University, Japan
    Excerpt: The uniqueness of human eye morphology among primates illustrates the remarkable difference between human and other primates in the ability to communicate using gaze signals.
    http://www.saga-jp.org/coe_abst/kobayashi.htm

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    I thought that it was a well known fact that no one understands evolution.

    So how can we fault Keith Blanchard?

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    I don’t understand God. I really don’t. At best I can hope to emulate what I have heard about God.

    So I should stop believing in God? Why?

  5. 5
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Mung,

    Thank you for your posts. You ask:

    I thought that it was a well known fact that no one understands evolution.

    So how can we fault Keith Blanchard?

    Answer: because Keith Blanchard claims to understand evolution. In his own words:

    It’s remarkable how poorly understood evolution is today — how easily “debated” it is — given that its rules have been in place at least since life on Earth began, and that the truth of it is easily demonstrated. In fact, the basic theory has been in a state of continuous reconfirmation since Darwin proposed it in 1859, with geology, biology, anthropology, carbon dating, Pangaea, and every dinosaur bone ever found providing a nonstop barrage of additional proof points…

    Evolution is nothing more than a fairly simple way of understanding what is unquestionably happening. You don’t believe in it — you either understand it or you don’t.

    Now I’d call that just a tad presumptuous. Wouldn’t you?

    You also write:

    I don’t understand God. I really don’t. At best I can hope to emulate what I have heard about God.

    So I should stop believing in God? Why?

    No, you shouldn’t, especially if you believe His existence can be shown to be certain beyond reasonable doubt. Even if God’s existence could be shown to be more probable than His non-existence, that would be sufficient reason to believe in Him.

    There are powerful arguments for common descent. But the evolution advocated by Keith Blanchard, who regards macroevolution as nothing but an extrapolation, remains fanciful speculation.

  6. 6
    vjtorley says:

    Hi bornagain77,

    Thank you for your comments. I see that you doubt the humanity of Neanderthal man. I’d be interested to hear your opinion of this paper by Dediu and Levinson:

    http://journal.frontiersin.org.....7/abstract

    You might also find this one of interest:

    http://www.diva-portal.org/sma.....TEXT01.pdf

    Another point: don’t you find it a little curious that modern humans and Neanderthals were fully capable of inter-breeding?

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    “I see that you doubt the humanity of Neanderthal man.”

    Nope, just cited a reference that says there is a gap below Neanderthals and us whatever your take on Neanderthals is.,,, Which is exactly the point I was trying to make.

    The gap is a first class mystery, and is hardly an anomaly that is out of place of the overall fossil record:

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-s.....ution.html

    “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find’ over and over again’ not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”
    Paleontologist, Derek V. Ager (Department of Geology & Oceanography, University College, Swansea, UK)

    “It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution…This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large.”
    G.G.Simpson – one of the most influential American Paleontologist of the 20th century

    “Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series.” –
    Ernst Mayr-Professor Emeritus, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University

    “What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types.”
    Robert L Carroll (born 1938) – vertebrate paleontologist who specialises in Paleozoic and Mesozoic amphibians

    “In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.”
    Fossils and Evolution, TS Kemp – Curator of Zoological Collections, Oxford University, Oxford Uni Press, p246, 1999

    point being, I certainly don’t think the evidence for common ancestry is as ‘powerful’ as you seem to believe Dr. Torley.

  8. 8
    vjtorley says:

    Hi bornagain77,

    I see where you are coming from now. I don’t deny that the appearance of anatomically modern Homo sapiens was abrupt; however, I note in passing that the earliest modern humans “exhibit a mix of some archaic traits, such as moderate, but not prominent, brow ridges” (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaic_Homo_sapiens ). And if I recall rightly, the Swanscombe skull, formerly dated to 250,000 years ago but now regarded as about 400,000 years old, has been viewed by some anthropologists as a possible forerunner of modern Homo sapiens (although that’s rather an old theory). On top of that, the Omo I remains, dated to 195,000 years, have been suggested as a plausible ancestor for Homo sapiens idaltu: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omo_remains .

    Incidentally, I welcome the news that Homo rudolfensis, Homo gautengensis, Homo ergaster and possibly Homo habilis may all turn out to be nothing more than variants of Homo erectus, as a recent article you cited claims: http://www.theguardian.com/sci.....-evolution . If that’s correct, then it would mean that there’s no big morphological gap between Homo habilis and Homo erectus after all. But time will tell. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  9. 9
    Andre says:

    Dr Torley

    Most of the evidence for human evolution is based on fragmentary evidence, most of the supposed ancestor fossils are wholly inadequate. Perhaps you could do some research on what the actual fossil evidence is….. You might then realize what a fanciful story human evolution really is.

    I personally don’t rule out common descent but I can not infer that on the current evidence, its all too fragmentary to be clear proof of Darwinian evolution.

    You should be far more skeptical, but start with the actual evidence and go as far back as Australopithecus if you want……

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Torley as to

    “I note in passing that the earliest modern humans “exhibit a mix of some archaic traits, such as moderate, but not prominent, brow ridges””

    and yet:

    Australian Aboriginal with prominent brow ridge – picture
    http://mmmgroup2.altervista.org/aborig2.jpg

    Do you want to call Aboriginals archaic humans Dr. Torley?

    Aboriginal peoples
    Excerpt: Because Aboriginals have slightly larger eyebrow protrusions, a more downwardly slanted jaw and a smaller brain volume than Western peoples, they were thought to be living examples of transitional species. In order to produce proofs of evolution, evolutionist paleontologists together with fossil hunters who accepted the same theory dug up Aboriginal graves and took skulls back to evolutionist museums in the West. Then they offered these skulls to Western institutions and schools distributing them as the most solid proof of evolution.

    Later, when there were no graves left, they started shooting Aboriginals in the attempt to find proof for their theory. The skulls were taken, the bullet holes filled in and, after chemical processes were used to make the skulls look old, they were sold to museums.

    This inhuman treatment was legitimated in the name of the theory of evolution. For example, in 1890, James Bernard, chairman of the Royal Society of Tasmania wrote: “the process of extermination is an axiom of the law of evolution and survival of the fittest.” Therefore, he concluded, there was no reason to suppose that “there had been any culpable neglect” in the murder and dispossession of the Aboriginal Australian.5
    http://harunyahya.com/en/Evolu.....al-peoples

    Moreover, where the fossil record is most complete, i.e. where we can have the most confidence in the fossil record, we find this ‘anomoly’..

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    of related note:

    “Neanderthals are known for their large cranial capacity, which at 1600cc is larger on average than modern humans.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal#Anatomy

    as well Dr. Torley, you touched on the profound differences of anatomy between man and apes/chimps, but I think, as strong as you presented the case to be, you failed to capture just how drastically different, anatomically, we are from chimps:

    Mona Lisa smile: The morphological enigma of human and great ape evolution – 2006
    Excerpt: The quality and scope of published documentation and verification of morphological features suggests there is very little in morphology to support a unique common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees.,,,
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....7/abstract

    In fact so great are the anatomical differences between humans and chimps that a Darwinist actually proposed that a chimp and pig mated with each other and that is what ultimately gave rise to humans:

    A chimp-pig hybrid origin for humans? – July 3, 2013
    Excerpt: Dr. Eugene McCarthy,, has amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that human origins can be best explained by hybridization between pigs and chimpanzees. Extraordinary theories require extraordinary evidence and McCarthy does not disappoint. Rather than relying on genetic sequence comparisons, he instead offers extensive anatomical comparisons, each of which may be individually assailable, but startling when taken together.,,,
    The list of anatomical specializations we may have gained from porcine philandering is too long to detail here. Suffice it to say, similarities in the face, skin and organ microstructure alone is hard to explain away. A short list of differential features, for example, would include, multipyramidal kidney structure, presence of dermal melanocytes, melanoma, absence of a primate baculum (penis bone), surface lipid and carbohydrate composition of cell membranes, vocal cord structure, laryngeal sacs, diverticuli of the fetal stomach, intestinal “valves of Kerkring,” heart chamber symmetry, skin and cranial vasculature and method of cooling, and tooth structure. Other features occasionally seen in humans, like bicornuate uteruses and supernumerary nipples, would also be difficult to incorporate into a purely primate tree.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-c.....umans.html

    Moreover, Physorg published a subsequent article showing that the pig-chimp hybrid theory for human origins is much harder to shoot down than Darwinists had first supposed it would be:

    Human hybrids: a closer look at the theory and evidence – July 25, 2013
    Excerpt: There was considerable fallout, both positive and negative, from our first story covering the radical pig-chimp hybrid theory put forth by Dr. Eugene McCarthy,,,By and large, those coming out against the theory had surprisingly little science to offer in their sometimes personal attacks against McCarthy.
    ,,,Under the alternative hypothesis (humans are not pig-chimp hybrids), the assumption is that humans and chimpanzees are equally distant from pigs. You would therefore expect chimp traits not seen in humans to be present in pigs at about the same rate as are human traits not found in chimps. However, when he searched the literature for traits that distinguish humans and chimps, and compiled a lengthy list of such traits, he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these traits. This finding is inconsistent with the possibility that humans are not pig-chimp hybrids, that is, it rejects that hypothesis.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-h.....dence.html

    Gene McCarthy claims that the evidence points to humans as actually hybrids of chimps and pigs. Here is a partial list of differences that he provides:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-510021

    Not surprisingly, despite the pig/chimp, “PIMP”, theory not being shot down by Darwinists, there was not a rush of Darwinists jumping on the bandwagon to proclaim we can from “PIMP” hybrids. It simply does not fit their ‘easy sell narrative’ that they hoodwink people with, i.e. that we came from some chimp-like ancestor!

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    correction:,,,was not a rush of Darwinists jumping on the bandwagon to proclaim we CAME from “PIMP” hybrids.

  12. 12
    anthropic says:

    Pig/chimp sounds absurd until you think about all the bores out there…

  13. 13

    Blanchard needs to take his advice and stop believing in evolution.

  14. 14

    One wonders what would have become of evolution had Darwin originally claimed that it was simply the accumulation of random, neutral variations that generated all of the deeply complex, organized, interdependent structures we find in biology? Would we even know his name today?

    What exactly is Darwin really famous for now? Advancing a really popular, disproven idea, along the lines of Luminiferous Aether?

    Without the erroneous but powerful meme of “survival of the fittest” to act as an opiate for the Victorian intelligentsia and as a rationale for 20th century fascism, how might history have proceeded under the influence of the less vitriolic maxim, “Survival of the Happenstance”?

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    William J Murray 🙂 a keeper, filed right beneath Berlinski’s quote:

    Majestic Ascent: Berlinski on Darwin on Trial – David Berlinski – November 2011
    Excerpt: The publication in 1983 of Motoo Kimura’s The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution consolidated ideas that Kimura had introduced in the late 1960s. On the molecular level, evolution is entirely stochastic, and if it proceeds at all, it proceeds by drift along a leaves-and-current model. Kimura’s theories left the emergence of complex biological structures an enigma, but they played an important role in the local economy of belief. They allowed biologists to affirm that they welcomed responsible criticism. “A critique of neo-Darwinism,” the Dutch biologist Gert Korthof boasted, “can be incorporated into neo-Darwinism if there is evidence and a good theory, which contributes to the progress of science.”
    By this standard, if the Archangel Gabriel were to accept personal responsibility for the Cambrian explosion, his views would be widely described as neo-Darwinian.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53171.html

    ===================

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in responce to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    A graph featuring ‘Kimura’s Distribution’ is shown in the following video:

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video
    https://vimeo.com/91162565

    On Enzymes and Teleology – Ann Gauger – July 19, 2012
    Excerpt: People have been saying for years, “Of course evolution isn’t random, it’s directed by natural selection. It’s not chance, it’s chance and necessity.” But in recent years the rhetoric has changed. Now evolution is constrained. Not all options are open, and natural selection is not the major player, it’s the happenstance of genetic drift that drives change. But somehow it all happens anyway, and evolution gets the credit.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62391.html

    Here is a Completely Different Way of Doing Science – Cornelius Hunter PhD. – April 2012
    Excerpt: But how then could evolution proceed if mutations were just neutral? The idea was that neutral mutations would accrue until finally an earthquake, comet, volcano or some such would cause a major environmental shift which suddenly could make use of all those neutral mutations. Suddenly, those old mutations went from goat-to-hero, providing just the designs that were needed to cope with the new environmental challenge. It was another example of the incredible serendipity that evolutionists call upon.
    Too good to be true? Not for evolutionists. The neutral theory became quite popular in the literature. The idea that mutations were not brimming with cool innovations but were mostly bad or at best neutral, for some, went from an anathema to orthodoxy. And the idea that those neutral mutations would later magically provide the needed innovations became another evolutionary just-so story, told with conviction as though it was a scientific finding.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ay-of.html

  16. 16
    vjtorley says:

    Hi bornagain77,

    I think I should point out that the pig-chimp hybridization theory simply won’t work, for purely mechanical reasons (see here: http://scienceblogs.com/tetrap.....-too-much/ – warning to readers: reading the post requires a strong stomach, and it is definitely not suitable for children).

    I should add that Professor P. Z. Myers has some telling comments to make here in a critical review of Dr. McCarthy’s theory here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/ph.....o-sapiens/ (2 July 2013):

    However, no one reasonably expects pigs and chimps to be interfertile. The primate and artiodactyl lineages have diverged for roughly 80 million years — just the gradual accumulation of molecular differences in sperm and egg recognition proteins would mean that pig sperm wouldn’t recognize a chimpanzee egg as a reasonable target for fusion. Heck, even two humans will have these sorts of mating incompatibilities. Two species that haven’t had any intermingling populations since the Cretaceous? No way.

    I agree. By the way, I blogged about the pig-chimp hydridization theory last year: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-and-pigs/

    ===============

    Re brow ridges in modern man, you make a very good point. It looks like the feature cannot be used as a diagnostic feature of archaic humans, after all.

    ==============

    Thank you very much for digging up the paper, “Mona Lisa Smile: The morphological enigma f human and great ape evolution” in The Anatomical Record Part B: The New Anatomist (Volume 289B, Issue 4, pages 139–157, July 2006). The list of human-orangutan resemblances is striking (28 altogether):
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....20107/full

    On the other hand, Grehan’s theory has been criticized in a thesis by Christine Alexandra Tourkakis, titled, “Savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) as a referential model for the evolution of habitual bipedalism in hominids” at http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/.....ontext=etd (see pages 26-28). Tourkakis doesn’t think much of the alleged similarities, but I think she is too dismissive. The anatomical similarities between humans and orangutans require an explanation.

  17. 17
    Box says:

    Myers: the revolution is over. Neutral and nearly neutral theory won.

    I suppose that “neutral” and “nearly neutral” equates to “no design” and “nearly no design” in nature. That is *DESIGN* the very (overwhelming) thing that evolution theory attempts to explain.

  18. 18
    vh says:

    This is not uncommon in the animal world….and it happens quickly, often in a single generation. Snakes and tadpoles and fish and other other creatures all experience rapid morphological changes in their heads, skulls, jaws, bite force, etc when introduced to a new diet. http://shell.cas.usf.edu/motta/2005bassheads.pdf

    As well, finches’ beaks can be altered in size and shape if they start consuming a new diet (aka bigger, harder seeds, etc) If the new diet is introduced at an early age, the baby bird can sometimes experience large morphological changes, as their beaks are still soft and pliable. Thus, the distinction between an acquired characteristic and an inherited characteristic is blurred, as is the apparent origin of the trait if not studied under controlled settings.

    The brow ridge, which you showed the picture of the aborigine, was probably a trait that allowed for a more powerful bite or chewing action, required to eat meat or uncooked foods….but when humans switched to eating softer foods, it probably happened that their skulls, faces, jaws, brow ridges and other features of the head shrank in size, as well as the skull itself becoming rounder…(see link above)….and as stated already, this could probably happen in a single generation, or just a few generations, which would explain why it might appear that the neanderthals just went extinct…..that they just “vanished.” There are no common ancestors and there are no intermediates…and that’s because the environment caused a rapid morphological change. (and yes, I am a YEC so I do not buy the evolutionary timeline at all due, in part, to the reality of how fast animals have shown to be able to change.)

    So Born Again, I would like for you to tell me what your logic is in thinking that modern humans were not descended from the Neanderthals….I’m not necessarily looking for a debate, just trying to understand your reasons and logic.

  19. 19
    vh says:

    sorry for the confusion in above post…..the top couple paragraphs of the original post were cut off but basically it was a call for Born Again to explain why he thinks Neanderthals were not the ancestors to modern humans.

    I’m not going to rewrite it but I’ve included a couple links here, one is regarding the apparent shrinking/rounding of the human skull over the past 10,000 years due to farming/eating softer foods…along with another, that the neanderthals seem to exhibit all kinds of intelligent behaviors, including fire-making, possibly burying their dead, being cunning hunters, engaging in ceremonies, etc…and lots more….I’m sure you know all this, Born Again…

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/e.....types.html

    just curious what your thinking is regarding the neanderthals.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    vjtorley, you state:

    “pig-chimp hybridization theory simply won’t work, for purely mechanical reasons”

    as does the man from chimp-like ancestor not work for ‘purely mechanical reasons’,,,

    One difference in sexual reproduction of chimps and humans is that human males are ‘hydraulic’ in their arousal and chimp males are ‘mechanical’ in their arousal,,, i.e. male chimps have an actual bone to achieve erection.

    Ian Juby’s sex video – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab1VWQEnnwM

    Needless to say, giving a step by step account of the transition from mechanical to hydraulic reproduction, whilst maintaining reproduction all the time, is an extremely difficult task to imagine.

    As well Dr. Torley, in your theory, instead of God creating man in his image ‘out of the dust’, you have the not to subtle problem of God tinkering with some preexisting species. Thus, is God so weak in your scheme of things that he needs reproduction to be ‘mechanically viable’ before He can do his work of tinkering??? Such a trivial constraint of ‘mechanics’ didn’t seem to stop Him when He spoke the entire universe into being from his infinite knowledge!

    Moreover, the whole reason I brought up the “PIMP” hypothesis in the first place is not because I believe it to be true (I don’t for a second), but to clarify just how different, anatomically, we are from chimps. For me it is a major blow against any claim for common descent of man!

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    vh,,,

    So Born Again, I would like for you to tell me what your logic is in thinking that modern humans were not descended from the Neanderthals….I’m not necessarily looking for a debate, just trying to understand your reasons and logic.

    UHHH, as I told Dr. Torley in post 7, I never claimed that they weren’t,,, I cited that reference to emphasize the gap in the fossil record below humans and Neanderthals! Which is exactly the point I wanted to make at that time!

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks for the ‘shrinking skull’ link vh. 🙂

    As well,,

    Scientists Discover Proof That Humanity Is Getting Dumber, Smaller And Weaker By Michael Snyder, on April 29th, 2014
    Excerpt: An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.
    Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
    And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.
    The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.
    The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years.
    http://thetruthwins.com/archiv.....and-weaker

    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.) The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome. Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132259.htm

  24. 24
    drc466 says:

    I apologize from departing from the general direction of the comments above, but I have a question I’m hoping someone can answer.
    Neutral theory is supposedly provided as an answer to both Haldane’s Dilemma and the appearance of stasis in the fossil record. Neutral changes accumulate in DNA until some big event causes them to suddenly express.

    So, yes or no: current (neutral) evolutionary theory says that one day, a dinosaur egg cracked open, and a bird stepped out, complete with the ability to fly. Fortunately, this bird was still able to mate and reproduce with other dinosaurs. Or, maybe other birds that were popping out of dino eggs at the same time.

    This…makes no sense to me. What am I missing?

  25. 25
    Dionisio says:

    drc466

    This…makes no sense to me. What am I missing?

    Well, you don’t seem to understand ‘n-D evo’ or ‘evo-devo’ 😉

    Maybe ‘the third way’ is kind of easier to understand?

    Give it a try 😉

  26. 26
    Dr JDD says:

    Interesting article Dr Torley, thanks (however I would still have to side with BA77 on this one).

    However like i said in the other thread about this, first and foremost is not even the clear lack of understanding of evolution by Blanchard, but rather a complete misunderstanding of the argument against evolution. I.e. quite simply macro versus micro-evolution: modification of existing information is overwhelming accepted by most. What is questioned and rightly rejected is arisal of novel information through natural and random processes by materialistic means.

    He cannot even grasp that, however even many of those with science degrees seem unable to also grasp this concept. It really is quite simple though.

  27. 27
    OldArmy94 says:

    by Keith Blanchard, a former editor-in-chief of Maxim magazine

    That was all I needed to know about Mr. Blanchard’s credentials on this subject. Now, if he wants to explain the evolution of the bikini, he may be able to shed some light on that subject.

  28. 28
    Evolve says:

    Lol! This is yet another joke of a post by Vincent Torley.
    Vincent himself has no training in biology, yet critiques evolution in length. The same Vincent will, however, ironically criticize Blanchard for writing about evolution despite not having a science degree!

    Vincent compares variation in domestic dogs to that between humans and gorillas. All domestic dogs belong to the same species and are only separated by a few hundreds or few thousands of years of evolution & artificial selection. But humans and gorillas belong to two different genera (which is one level above species) and are separated by about 10 million years of evolution! There’s little wonder then that humans and gorillas show much more variation than dogs do among themselves.

    Vincent then makes another common creationist folly regarding vestigial structures.
    Vestigial structures are not structures lacking any function whatsoever. They are structures WHOSE PRIMARY FUNCTION HAS BEEN REDUCED OR LOST. That doesn’t mean they can no longer perform their original function at all, or that they cannot acquire other secondary functions down the road.

    Yes, the human appendix may now have immunological roles etc, but it IS a vestige of the cecum that was present in early hominoid ancestors. Darwin was right to infer the origin of the human appendix.

    The Science Now article Vincent cites to show that several mammals are now known to have evolved appendices, states this point:

    http://news.sciencemag.org/pla.....e-30-times
    “He may have correctly identified the origin of the ape appendix, though, which the analysis confirms did appear when our ancestors switched diets.”

    The original paper on which the above article is based also confirms this:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....8312001960

    “Darwin formulated his hypothesis regarding the evolution of the appendix from his observations in humans and other hominoids, and as such, his interpretation of the appendix as being associated with a reduction in cecal size is ultimately correct for this clade…”
    “Hominoids were found in the present study to possess an appendix associated with a small cecum, a pattern that is consistent with Darwin’s observations.”

    Apart from the appendix humans have several other vestigial structures, some of which may have acquired other roles in the course of time. But that won’t weaken their evolutionary significance. They still present a strong case for evolution. And this also holds true for vestigial genes – pseudogenes.

  29. 29
    Dr JDD says:

    Vincent compares variation in domestic dogs to that between humans and gorillas. All domestic dogs belong to the same species and are only separated by a few hundreds or few thousands of years of evolution & artificial selection. But humans and gorillas belong to two different genera (which is one level above species) and are separated by about 10 million years of evolution! There’s little wonder then that humans and gorillas show much more variation than dogs do among themselves.

    Have you even read his article? Have you even read what is being critiqued? Blanchard uses the dog as proof for evolution and proof that it is as true as “the colour blue.” He equates what is done with dog breeding with common descent and descent from one species to a new one. Hence vjtorley’s point, which you have failed to grasp. In fact, what you say here does exactly what this article was doing – highlighting the ignorance of Blanchard comparing dog “evolution” (selective breeding) to common descent.

    Vestigial structures are not structures lacking any function whatsoever. They are structures WHOSE PRIMARY FUNCTION HAS BEEN REDUCED OR LOST. That doesn’t mean they can no longer perform their original function at all, or that they cannot acquire other secondary functions down the road.

    Yes, the human appendix may now have immunological roles etc, but it IS a vestige of the cecum that was present in early hominoid ancestors. Darwin was right to infer the origin of the human appendix.

    1) We must have descended from other mammals
    2) Other mammals have a caecum that helps digest cellulose
    3) We do not have a caecum but a much reduced sized organ in a similar location called the “appendix”
    4) Therefore, we must have had a caecum once, because we must have descended from those that do in present day forms
    5) Therefore, common descent is true.

    Welcome to the circular reasoning of Darwinism with self-generating proof. I suppose you are consistent – your arguments for are self-validating and come from the arguments just like everything else comes from everything else. Please explain to me, in a world where starvation is rife, pre-historic hunting no doubt would have been very difficult: why would we lose the functionality of digesting cellulose? Why on earth would evolution select that trait OUT? There has to be some driving force (motive) that has logic to fit in with advantageous selection. This makes no sense, and in fact, there are several functions described for the appendix that are actually quite important. Not just in immunity but in gut microflora balancing. “But you can live without it!” Yes, you can also live without a right arm but is that vestigal?

    It should also be noted how the definition og vestigility has changed over the years from “functionless” to “reduced function and size”. I wonder why that is?

    Apart from the appendix humans have several other vestigial structures, some of which may have acquired other roles in the course of time. But that won’t weaken their evolutionary significance. They still present a strong case for evolution. And this also holds true for vestigial genes – pseudogenes.

    How do you determine if a vestigal organ has “acquired other roles in the course of time” ? You assume common descent and make that a just-so story to fit in with the common descent – that is the only proof rather than observable evidence.

    Secondly, many, many pseudogenes are being found to have previously unknown roles and functions. And their functions are not vestigal, but contrary to what was expected (i.e. different and real). Functions such as regulation of a counter-part gene or similar. Again, there is no evidence with those of “vestigility.”

    But keep believing what you want to.

  30. 30
    Querius says:

    The problem with evolution is that it can explain anything but rarely predicts anything successfully, and even then only after the fact.

    Thus, a vestigial organ is anything that it needs to be at the moment . . . no function, reduced function, or vastly different function . . .or the same function that musta evolved multiple times.

    Whatever the case, it usually reported that scientists were “surprised” at what they found.

    -Q

  31. 31
    Evolve says:

    ///Welcome to the circular reasoning of Darwinism with self-generating proof.///

    This is so wrong. Who assumed common descent? Who assumed we’re related to mammals? Nobody assumed it, it emerges from the data, from our observations, our studies of various animal species.

    Consider this: Birds must be most closely related to bats since both have wings and fly.
    Whales must be most closely related to sharks since they look so similar and have similar lifestyles.

    So by your logic, our circular reasoning should establish these relationships. But instead we have accepted a radically different reality.
    Bats are closer to cows than to birds, and whales are closer to humans than to sharks!
    So science is all about postulating a hypothesis that best explains the data, not making circular reasonings based on prior assumptions.

    ///How do you determine if a vestigal organ has “acquired other roles in the course of time”? You assume common descent…///

    Again, common descent is not assumed; rather it naturally arises as the best explanation of the data. The original function of vestigial organs can be detected by comparative anatomy, embryology and even genetics.

    For example, take the human coccyx or tailbone. We can infer the origin of the coccyx by studying human anatomy and comparing it with the anatomy of other animals. This shows that most vertebrates have caudal/tail vertebrae which are located at the same place and share the same basic anatomy.
    By comparing human embryos with that of other animals, we further see that humans develop tails during the early stages of gestation, just as all other vertebrates do. But most of the tail vertebrae are then lost and only the coccyx remains upon birth.
    Now, when we look at the genes for tail development in other mammals such as mice, we see that the same genes are present in the human genome!

    Thus, evidence from multiple disciplines show that the human coccyx is indeed a reduced or vestigial tail. Why should humans possess tail genes and develop tails during embryogenesis, only to lose most of it later? The best explanation is that humans inherited this feature from tailed ancestors and lost them during evolution when they were no longer necessary for survival.
    The vestigial tail has lost its primary function, but may have other roles, such as serving as an anchor for some muscles. But the fact that it has acquired another function does not discredit its historical significance. The coccyx IS INDEED a vestigial tail and it shows our descent from tailed ancestors.

    ///Secondly, many, many pseudogenes are being found to have previously unknown roles and functions.///

    Ditto as above.
    Compare the sequences of human pseudogenes to functional genes in other animals and you’ll see homology as well as synteny! What’s more, the extent of similarity decreases with decreasing relatedness between species, fitting a nested hierarchy pattern characteristic of descent from a common ancestor. This clearly shows that pseudogenes are relics from the past that have lost their original function by acquiring mutations. Then why are some pseudogenes found to perform other roles? Simple. Because over the course of time, they accumulate mutations that may potentiate them towards other functions.

    Important take home message: If vestigial organs or pseudogenes have other functions, that does’t invalidate their historical evolutionary significance.

    ///in a world where starvation is rife, pre-historic hunting no doubt would have been very difficult: why would we lose the functionality of digesting cellulose?///

    Because our ancestors ditched the leaves and took to a predominantly frugivorous (fruit-eating) diet.
    Your comparison of losing the appendix to losing a hand is meaningless. Losing one hand affects fitness & survival, especially in the highly competitive world of our tree-dwelling ancestors. That’s why they kept both of their hands. But when they took to a fruit-based diet, digesting cellulose became much less of a problem. Hence mutations in the genes that make the cecum was better tolerated and a reduction in cecum size resulted.

    The idea that the appendix is a reduced cecum in hominoids comes from the observation that the hominoid appendix occurs concomitantly with a reduced cecum. The paper I quoted above confirmed this relationship:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....8312001960

    “Darwin’s suggestion that the hominoid appendix is a vestige of a larger cecum was derived in part from the assertion that the appearance of the appendix occurs con-comitantly with decreases in cecum size and a shift from folivory to frugivory resulting in decreased dietary cellu-lose consumption. Parsimony optimization (Swofford and Maddison, 1987), a procedure that minimizes the changes on a tree to account for character state distribution, indeed confirms that the appearance of the appendix in hominoids is associated with a decrease in cecum size (Figs. 2–6) in these mostly frugivorous taxa.”

    ///Blanchard uses the dog as proof for evolution and proof that it is as true as “the colour blue.” He equates what is done with dog breeding with common descent and descent from one species to a new one. Hence vjtorley’s point, which you have failed to grasp. In fact, what you say here does exactly what this article was doing – highlighting the ignorance of Blanchard comparing dog “evolution” (selective breeding) to common descent.///

    It’s you who either hasn’t read his article or is misrepresenting what he said.
    Blanchard cites the examples of dogs and some agricultural produce as cases where evolution is readily visible to us, because we have sped up the process through artificial selection. He’s trying to say that natural evolution is not as readily apparent because it proceeds at a much slower pace.
    Now Vincent Torley asks, so what if we created several different dog breeds, they are quite similar, whereas humans and our supposed close cousin, the gorilla, are so different. In other words, dog breeds are no vindication of macroevolution between species.
    But Torley naively failed to realize that humans and gorillas are separated by a whopping 10 million years, compared to just a few hundred (or at best a few thousand) years of dog breeding! That readily accounts for the extent of variation.

  32. 32
    Dr JDD says:

    This is so wrong. Who assumed common descent? Who assumed we’re related to mammals? Nobody assumed it, it emerges from the data, from our observations, our studies of various animal species.

     

    Consider this: Birds must be most closely related to bats since both have wings and fly. Whales must be most closely related to sharks since they look so similar and have similar lifestyles.

    So by your logic, our circular reasoning should establish these relationships. But instead we have accepted a radically different reality.

     

     Bats are closer to cows than to birds, and whales are closer to humans than to sharks!

     So science is all about postulating a hypothesis that best explains the data, not making circular reasonings based on prior assumptions.

     

    Your “consider this” scenario was originally assumed though, prior to molecular data. Because the molecular data did not fit the phenotypic data, the latter was discarded. Again both are assuming common descent and both are grounded in that assumption. Common descent is the overriding assumption of Darwin’s theory and it all comes back to that point. Therefore, the data is always interpreted in that light. This is circular. I’m not going to spend time discussing that further as it is quite plain to anyone who understands evolution. 

     

    You could perhaps argue that the molecular data strengthens common descent but common descent was assumptive prior to the existence of such data. Further, when we look at molecular data we are deceived by evolutionists that they strongly correlate with the evolutionary trees we draw. Yet there is consistent inconsistencies. I.e. there is disparity in descent depending on which piece of molecular data you trace back – different genes and sequences give rise to different ancestral trees.

     

    Further, consider this: a theory that offers nothing more than an opposing theory to explain evidence cannot be considered proof. What we quite clearly know from good design (take for example, engineering) is that when something else of similar function is designed, there are shared and common features inherently built in. Think of a house, a car, a bridge, a computer…the possibilities are endless because that is what we see with design. Therefore to consistently say that one type of organism has a similarity to another may be offered in an explanatory sense that it is because it arose from that, however this is not any more evidence or proof than there are shared features that a designer would “borrow” for want of better word in another organism. I.e. commonality is designer. This is one of the lies that Darwinists would have us believe – homology as a proof of common ancestry. It is supportive evidence for common ancestry just like it is supportive evidence for a single, common designer but it is proof for neither as both equally explain that data. The area where the evidence seems stronger for the common ancestry argument is where we see similar “broken-ness” in genes for example with organisms already claimed to be closely related. For example, the GULO gene is well touted for this in primates. However where this falls down is seeing this outside of common ancestry (e.g. guinea pigs, bats, and others) where perhaps another explanation is that there are regions that act as “hot-spots” for genetic degradation more than others. That also explains the data.

     

    Further, your point above proves the circular reasoning of Darwinism and the assumption of common descent. What we would expect is those that look similar to be more related and that is what was originally assumed, yet we do not find that to be the case as you say, therefore instead of seeing that as what is unexpected from the Darwinian theory, common descent is assumed and cannot be rejected therefore the alternative is accepted – that the molecular data shows us who is closely related. That is not observation of science proving relatedness, it is fitting the data to the theory.

     

    Finally, I really wonder how people convince themselves that the data is truly observational science. It is assumptive science as we have not observed new kinds of organisms arising through evolutionary mechanisms. Mass mutation of Drosophila show this. Lenski’s experiments show this – despite them apparently “proving” neutral theory, the bacteria are still bacteria and no new complex information has arisen.

     

    Thus all this “proof” is subject to your interpretation rather than straightforward observational science. And the fact of the matter is that your interpretation is not superior to an ID one; however in other cases such as evolutionary search space, abiogenesis and chance selecting a 300 amino acid long protein of crucial cellular function, ID has far more going for it.

     

     

      By comparing human embryos with that of other animals, we further see that humans develop tails during the early stages of gestation, just as all other vertebrates do. But most of the tail vertebrae are then lost and only the coccyx remains upon birth.

     Now, when we look at the genes for tail development in other mammals such as mice, we see that the same genes are present in the human genome!

     

     Why should humans possess tail genes and develop tails during embryogenesis, only to lose most of it later? The best explanation is that humans inherited this feature from tailed ancestors and lost them during evolution when they were no longer necessary for survival.

     The vestigial tail has lost its primary function, but may have other roles, such as serving as an anchor for some muscles. But the fact that it has acquired another function does not discredit its historical significance. The coccyx IS INDEED a vestigial tail and it shows our descent from tailed ancestors.

     

    So you are maintaining that vertebrae form in human embryology that are subsequently lost as the fetus develops? Please clarify this so I may understand – actual vertebrae form and then are destroyed in the human fetus. Not fused together, but lost?

     

    Secondly, these genes that control tail development, what are they? Wnt/b-catenin pathway? Wnt-3a? Are you saying that these genes only control tail development? Or, are these genes involved in other aspects of embryonic development apart fromtail development? Please specify what you are stating here and if you are claiming genes are known that only control tail development in other mammals and are also present in the human genome, please could you list what these genes are as this is of interest to me.

     

    I am not going to go further into pseudogenes or appendix and diet. I actually see that much of what evolutionists purport to solidify their “proof” for evolution actually fall perfectly in line with what is seen in Judeo-Christian beliefs and implied by genetic deterioration and loss of complexity/function which is in opposition to the proof we would seek from gain in function complexity. For example, Judeo-Christian beliefs would often subscribe to the idea that humans were originally vegetarians and their diet would have been vastly different to what we find today. The appendix/caecum issue never has bothered me and actually fits perfectly well with my beliefs yet I will always argue against this providing evidence for common descent as the article claims, because it doesn’t, and my position maintains that it could well have deteriorated from an original function that was in an original design. Finally, my point is that often evolutionists will say something is not of crucial function, therefore it is evidence of vestigility. My point is that a good designer will always have back-up mechanisms and parts that may not be essential, but are optimal especially given particular strains and stresses that different environmental exposures and similar can invoke. For example, it is not necessary to have 5 gears on a car rather than 3, however it is certainly helpful when travelling at higher speeds and improves the life of the engine and car as a whole. That does not mean the 4th and 5th gears are redundant.

     

    It’s you who either hasn’t read his article or is misrepresenting what he said.

     Blanchard cites the examples of dogs and some agricultural produce as cases where evolution is readily visible to us, because we have sped up the process through artificial selection. He’s trying to say that natural evolution is not as readily apparent because it proceeds at a much slower pace.

     Now Vincent Torley asks, so what if we created several different dog breeds, they are quite similar, whereas humans and our supposed close cousin, the gorilla, are so different. In other words, dog breeds are no vindication of macroevolution between species.

     But Torley naively failed to realize that humans and gorillas are separated by a whopping 10 million years, compared to just a few hundred (or at best a few thousand) years of dog breeding! That readily accounts for the extent of variation.

    No, no, no. It is you who have still missed the point. Blanchard’s argument should not be given as much credit as you assume. He is not trying to say what you are saying he is. His premise is that evolution is as true as the colour blue is true. He uses dogs as an example to prove that evolution on the large scale, over millions of years is true, because we see variation in dogs and can do this ourselves. VJTorley (I believe) and my point is that this is an extrapolation. You can quite clearly see that the evolution of dog variation is NOT equivalent to the evolution of chimp to man. Many more changes are required and you cannot infer that one happened because the other can happen. A dog is still a dog which is essentially still a wolf. They are all the same. But quite clearly a human is not a chimp nor is a chimp a human. They are very different. Now you can argue they may be related and a human may have arisen from a chimp, but what you absolutely cannot do is say because we can change types of dogs, then it is absolutely true that humans came from chimps. That is the inference that Blanchard is making to try and prove his point that common descent is as “true as blue” – and it is a falsity to do so and make that extrapolation.

     

    This is the deceitfulness of Darwinism – you absolutely cannot compare the “evolution” within a species (rearrangement, modification/expression/repression of existing information) to the macro-evolution that causes a whole new kind of organism to arise from another. They are completely different things altogether.

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr JDD and Evolve, if I may add to,,,

    But Torley naively failed to realize that humans and gorillas are separated by a whopping 10 million years, compared to just a few hundred (or at best a few thousand) years of dog breeding! That readily accounts for the extent of variation.

    Actually, dog breeding is a excellent example of ‘limited variation within kind’ wrought by the culling, and deterioration, of preexisting genetic information. To extrapolate the same process of degradation over millions of years would see the most extreme examples of divergence from the original wolf/dog kind go extinct (such as Chihuahuas) whilst the more closely related ones to the original wolf/dog kind (such as Huskies) would last longer.

    To prove this point, I point out that inbreeding (Artificial Selection) is a very big problem in ‘Prue Breds’ that must be carefully guarded against in animal husbandry since it promotes genetic degradation:

    Inbreeding – Pros and cons
    Excerpt: The ultimate result of continued inbreeding is terminal lack of vigor and probable extinction as the gene pool contracts, fertility decreases, abnormalities increase and mortality rates rise.
    http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/inbreeding.htm

    100 Years of Breed “Improvement” – Comparison photos of Pure Breds from 100 years ago to today – Sept. 2012
    Excerpt: “Several “pure bred” dogs are now so incredibly inbred they have many genetic problems that severely reduce their quality of life.” The dogs on the left are from the 1915 book, ‘Breeds of All Nations‘ by W.E. Mason. The examples on the right are modern examples from multiple sources (which show the progressive genetic deterioration of the pure breds).
    http://dogbehaviorscience.word.....provement/

    Geneticist Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig goes in much more detail here:

    Interview with Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – Mar 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Richard Dawkins and many other evolutionary biologists (claim) that dog breeds prove macroevolution. However, virtually all the dog breeds are generated by losses or disturbances of gene functions and/or developmental processes. Moreover, all the three subfamilies of the family of wild dogs (Canidae) appear abruptly in the fossil record.
    http://dippost.com/2014/03/22/.....rd-lonnig/

    podcast – On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin talks with geneticist Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig about his recent article on the evolution of dogs. Casey and Dr. Lönnig evaluate the claim that dogs somehow demonstrate macroevolution.
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....1_14-08_00
    Part 2: Dog Breeds: Proof of Macroevolution?
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_07-08_00

    In fact, the entire spectrum of dog sub-species has been found to have less genetic diversity than the parent wolf species:

    ,,the mean sequence divergence in dogs, 2.06, was almost identical to the 2.10 (sequence divergence) found within wolves. (please note the sequence divergence is slightly smaller for the entire spectrum of dogs than for wolves)
    http://jhered.oxfordjournals.o.....0/1/71.pdf

    Also of interest, wolves and dogs can still interbreed:

    Caveman’s Best Friend, Evolution’s Newest Upset – October 2011
    Excerpt: Our view of domestication as a process has also begun to change, with recent research showing that, in dogs, alterations in only a small number of genes can have large effects in terms of size, shape and behavior.,,, It should be noted that dogs and wolves can interbreed,,,
    http://crev.info/content/20111.....est_friend

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the Darwinists appealing to ‘deep time’ in general to work ‘unseen miracles’ for them,,, The interesting thing about Darwinists appealing to deep time to work miracles is that time itself is found to be connected to entropy:

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    Yet irreversible entropy, despite the Darwinists vehement denials to the contrary (G. Sewell), is now, experimentally, found to be connected to the information inherent in the cell:

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2 (in a cell); the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    Yet, irreversible relationship of entropy to the information inherent in the cell is completely contrary to what Darwinists need for their theory to be true:

    “Bertalanffy (1968) called the relation between irreversible thermodynamics and information theory one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in biology.”
    Charles J. Smith – Biosystems, Vol.1, p259.

    “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.”
    Gilbert Newton Lewis – preeminent Chemist of the first half of last century

    And this tendency of entropic processes of the universe to decrease information in a cell is overwhelmingly confirmed to be true from laboratory work covering the last four decades:

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Moreover, the irreversible process of ‘Genetic Deterioration’ over deep time is also confirmed by ‘realistic’ computer simulations over deep time:

    Using Numerical Simulation to Better Understand Fixation Rates, and Establishment of a New Principle – “Haldane’s Ratchet” – Christopher L. Rupe and John C. Sanford – 2013
    Excerpt: We have therefore independently demonstrated that the findings of Haldane and ReMine are for the most part correct, and that the fundamental evolutionary problem historically known as “Haldane’s Dilemma” is very real.
    Previous analyses have focused exclusively on beneficial mutations. When deleterious mutations were included in our simulations, using a realistic ratio of beneficial to deleterious mutation rate, deleterious fixations vastly outnumbered beneficial fixations. Because of this, the net effect of mutation fixation should clearly create a ratchet-type mechanism which should cause continuous loss of information and decline in the size of the functional genome. We name this phenomenon “Haldane’s Ratchet”.
    http://media.wix.com/ugd/a704d.....fa9c20.pdf

    Thus, Darwinists are found to be postulating that the irreversible ‘random’ entropic events of the universe, entropic events which explain time itself in the first place, are creating information when in fact it is now shown that these random entropic events in the cell, and of the universe, will do exactly the opposite of what Darwinists claim they can do. These ‘random’ entropic events are found to be consistently destroying the information in the cell rather than ever creating it.

    Such a disconnect in science is the equivalent in science of someone claiming that gravity can make things fall up instead of down! And that is not overstating the bizarre situation we find ourselves in in the least since gravity itself is tied to time and entropy.

    Psalm 102:25-27
    In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
    They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.

    Hillsong – Mighty to Save – With Subtitles/Lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-08YZF87OBQ

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